When you sit down and reflect, 2017 has been a very successful year for Non League football in Yorkshire.
More clubs than normal have won promotion, won silverware and for the first time since NLY was launched, a Yorkshire club from below the National League has reached the FA Cup first round.
Now regular readers will know that NLY has headed in a different direction since August, with the launch of the Community Sport section.
But despite that now taking priority, it has still been a good year for the site as there has been a number of articles which could be classed as proper journalism.
So there it begins, our look back at 2017.
15. Liversedge win at Ramsbottom (August)
14. Mark Simpson breaks record for Garforth Town (February)
Garforth Town’s prodigal son Mark Simpson broke a club record by scoring in nine consecutive matches. His flukey last minute free kick against Liversedge in February was the record-breaking goal. He did go onto score in a tenth straight match too.
13. Penistone Church beat the might of Whitby Town with ten men (September)
Throughout Penistone’s escapades during 2017, Andy Ring’s name has been prevalent. He was the hero in the dramatic 3-2 FA Cup victory over two leagues higher Whitby. Having lost sent off skipper Danny Howes in the first half, Church somehow hung in there and claimed an unbelievable victory at the death.
12. Pontefract Collieries FA Vase win at Hall Road (November)
Pontefract Collieries, arguably the region’s team of the year, were heading out of the FA Vase until Vaughan Redford equalised to take the tie to extra-time at Hall Road Rangers. The Colls went onto win it in extra-time and are the only remaining NCEL side left in the competition – with Wembley only a few rounds away. The Colls have had an exceptional year – they have won promotion, put themselves in the running for the Premier Division title with 16 wins out of 18 and scored over 100 goals already this season.
11. Football League is the aim for Ossett Albion (October)
Ossett Albion have made a few waves recently, especially with the signing of Gibraltar International Adam Priestley. Their chairman John Chidlaw wants the club to reach the Football League.
10. Big ambition at Yorkshire Amateur (June)
9. Penistone Church win the Toolstation NCEL League Cup (May)
No-one gave Penistone a chance when they entered the play-offs. They didn’t either when they faced higher league Bridlington Town in League Cup final at Bramall Lane. However, Church upset the apple cart again by winning 4-1 against Curtis Woodhouse’s side.
8. Hall Road Rangers win the Toolstation NCEL Division One title (April)
7. Farsley Celtic win promotion after extra-time (April)
6. Ossett Town win at Farsley Celtic to effectively secure a play-offs spot (April)
Martin Pembleton struck twice in a memorable and unlikely victory at Throstle Nest – a result which cost Farsley the title as it enabled Lancaster City to win it on the final day. For Ossett, it put them in the driving seat for a play-offs under Grant Black, still the best up-and-coming manager in the Evo Stik.
5. Penistone Church win promotion (April)
The so-called weaker team in the play-offs. Having shocked AFC Emley, Church completed their unbelievable triumph by winning 4-1 at Grimsby Borough to clinch promotion.
4. Shaw Lane clinch the Evo Stik South title (April)
3. Shaw Lane AFC reaching the FA Cup first round (November)
2. Stocksbridge midfielder Harrison Biggins completes his move to Fleetwood Town (June)
1. Matt Pinder’s return to action for Worsbrough Bridge
Matt Pinder said the last ten minutes of Worsbrough’s last day 2-0 defeat to promotion-winning Pontefract were the best of his life. It is hardly surprising considering six months earlier, Matt feared he would never walk again. The heartwarming and inspiring article with Matt and his dad Ray is probably the best that NLY has ever published.